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Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

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Poster: SourJim42 Date: Jan 24, 2014 6:48am
Forum: software Subject: Copyright and Atari Software

What is the legal justification the archive is using to allow the download of Atari/Coleco/etc. Games?

I was under the impression that, in addition to being under copyright, Activision, Atari, and others still tried to sell and make money from these games. (Which would give them motivation to come after the archive for posting them?)

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see them here. I love vintage software, and having the archive working to keep it alive is wonderful news, I'm just curious as to how they are getting away with it.

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Poster: Tickled_Pink Date: Jan 25, 2014 3:08pm
Forum: software Subject: Re: Copyright and Atari Software

Simply because they're ignoring it. For most software there simply isn't the will on the part of the original developers to pursue people who use emulators and make copies of old software. It's going to cost them more in lawyers fees than they'll get back.

There are a few exceptions. Nintendo will vigorously protect their IP, especially their most famous characters. Because of their popularity, and the fact that Nintendo manufacture their own consoles, there's nothing stopping Nintendo from re-releasing the exact same game as they might have created for the N64 as an emulated WiiWare game. I'm pretty sure they have already.

But there are other serious issues. On Atari Age recently, Philip Price popped in for a chat which, as should be expected, ended up around his classic RPG Alternate Reality. During the discussions it turned out that one of the UK's longest running games developers, Elite Systems, has been selling games that are clearly running on emulators for iOS. One of them was what looks like the C64 version of Alternate Reality. They're even using the original artwork in the Apple Store page and claiming that it's a licensed product. That may be so, but it was licensed to Datasoft who went to the wall years ago. As part of the publishing agreement Philip Price had with them, the copyright would revert back to him after 10 years. The problem is he can't find the paperwork to prove it.

So while most past developers are quite comfortable with the notion of people copying and distributing their past achievements, there are some who will object.

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Poster: SourJim42 Date: Jan 27, 2014 8:58am
Forum: software Subject: Re: Copyright and Atari Software

So they are just ignoring the law, under the assumption that no one will complain, and if they do complain it won't be with any more force than a DMCA notification?

I guess that's one way to run an archive, here's hoping it works out for them.